NIGERIA CRUMBLING AT 56. NO INSIGNIA OF NATIONHOOD
The struggle for the “freedom” we enjoy today was decisive, all encompassing, built on an honest desire and unfettered sovereignty.
It is however, a big regret that today at 56, we have nothing to boast of, we have nothing to hold on. Many analysts posited that this 56years should be seen as a building process, a foundation making period and years of working towards maturity.
with maximum humility, I bet disagree with the propounders of such views. A man of 56years should be battling with Grey heirs and some steps away from his destination. He would be chastised and bemoaned for irresponsibility should he not be accomplished.
The independence struggle took another dimension in 1939 upon the regionalization of Nigeria by sir Bernard Boudillon. The polarization of the country into regions was premature and too early. There was no preemptive and proactive measures to caution it’s after effects.
Regionalism refurbished and brought into effect home consciousness, tribalism, Regionalism and religious bigotry. The so called nationalists became polarized, political parties became tribalized and region based. While NCNC dominated the trado political hub of igboland, NPC and AG held sway in northern and yoruba regions respectively. The foisted amalgamation of 1914 was a mere brouhaha as the union was at best, a mixture of insolubles in a solvent.
The nationalists abandoned the collective pursuit of a United purpose. National interest and cohesive freedom was sacrificed on the alter of regionalism. They turned into fissiparous lieutenants with canterkerous followers all geared towards regional freedoms at the expense of a United nationhood. The igbos became independent in 1956, the yorubas in 1957 while the Northerners became self governing a year before independence.
There was no unity of purpose neither was there a United focus towards the general good of Nigeria. In about the four to five constitutional conferences that predated our independence, the Nationalist leaders discussed virtually issues of regional benefits rather than national interest. The problem of disunity which was to become a cankerwarm in the fabrics of our system was born.
Even after independence, our leaders still did not do away with these parochial ideas. Military coups were even regionalized. There was never cohesion at the Centre. No spirit of nationhood and sense of unity in Nigeria.
The fruit of disunity planted by Boudillon surpassed the biblical mustard seed and plucked by the new generation politicians upon the exit of the actors of that period from active politics finally in 1983 when the likes of Adamu Ciroma, Awollowo, the great Zik and so many others including Maitama Sule were forced out of politics by the Buhari coup.
The younger politicians stepped into their heavy shoes, occupied their chambers, wearing their spirit and souls. Their views were always shrouded by parochial and regional consciousness, garnished with religious bigotry and creamed with avarice and self centeredness leading to profundity and lack of analytical precision.
Until we come to a roundtable to discuss conditions upon which we would continue to exist as a United nation, there will be no progress, there would be a diversity in unity. There would continue to be problems and politically motivated crises by a section of the country when another section produces the number one citizen.
We must revisit our Constitution. What we have at present is a foisted Constitution which does not represent our modus vivendi. It does not reflect our beliefs, ideals, desires and nature. It is not workable. The preamble to the Constitution is fraudulent, deceitful and a gross misrepresentation. “We the people of Nigeria” did not make any Constitution for ourselves. It was the military under obasanjo who doctored the Constitution to suit their military command structure. It was a military invention. The Constitution lacks prerequisite democratic ethos and paraphernalia.
Buhari must rise above party affiliation, regional identity and religious bigotry to revisit the 2014 confab. Many resolutions there would be pivotal in a genuine rebuilding process. Buhari must act as a Nigerian whose constituency cuts across the whole nation. Patriotism and the spirit of nationhood should be his guiding principles.
The political culture inherent in Nigeria is not favorable. The youths and leaders of “next tomorrow” must not be socialized by this culture of impunity, disingenuous tendencies, chronic corruption. Political thuggery, arson, political assassination, electoral malpractice, political propaganda and other unprintabe vices.
A retirement age must be set for our politicians so as to pave way for the youths to participate in the national building process. The youths must be inculcated the spirit of patriotism and nationhood. Meritocracy should be our abiding principle if this unity in diversity must work.
Finally, we have nothing to celebrate. There is no progress intenderm with the wasted years. What re we celebrating? 56years of apparent failure? 56years of a decadent and dependent judiciary? 56years of endemic corruption and travesty of justice? 56years of police intimidation and militocracy? 56years of same crooks in our treasury in the name of politics? 56years of backwardness and bastardized education sector? 56years of crises and wars? 56years of unemployment? Abi 56years of political dependency, neo-colonialism and imperialism?
There is nothing to be happy about. We must consolidate on the small faith we still have in Nigeria. We must come together as Nigerians, as brothers to build a suitable home for us all. We shall surly by his divine guidance reach the apogee
God bless Nigeria
Okpe Sylvanus Esq